Jadeveon Clowney will have to choose between South Carolina and Clemson soon. Soon in this instance indicates a timeframe stretching sometime between now and the deadline to register for classes at either school for the fall. (Attention Clowney brain trust: THERE IS NO HOLDOUT IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPEAT THERE IS NO HOLDOUT.)
The choice may seem odd for the uninitiated: both schools boast remarkable similarities in student body makeup, academic profile, cultural overlap, and history. How can this be such a hard choice, especially with both schools keeping Clowney, the nation's number one defensive end overall coming out of high school, close to his ancestral home of Rock Hill, South Carolina?*
*The ancestral home where he broke his way out of his rock-egg and took his place among the other rock giants. They stride along Rock Hill unbidden and unowned, free men who smell a finer air than we do while living centuries under nothing like the tyranny the rest of South Carolina experienced under its despotic leader ROBOSTROM. Even the reanimated brain of Strom Thurmond kept alive in a robot carapace fears the rock people of Rock Hill, and lets them live unmolested by the greedy hand of his kleptocratic rule.
The two school are very different, in fact, something we'll help highlight in this edition of EDSBS: Because You Didn't Ask (Free Advice).
The ACC produces almost as much talent as the SEC in the NFL draft, and usually without falling prey to many of the sketchy academic practices and recruiting chicanery found in the SEC. If and when Clemson wins a conference title, it will take place in a stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina in front of tens of thousands of interested fans. Your media day has an infinitely better spread to mack on, and your reporters probably won't ask you for autographs. It's a nice conference, just like a coffee table or a cup of tea can be "nice."
In the SEC people will leave death threats on your Facebook page while simultaneously naming their children after you. The conference championship game happens in the Georgia Dome, a building heated by the breath of homeless people who sleep underneath and around it in downtown Atlanta. You may not ever have to go to a class that isn't just filling out ScanTron cards. Boosters will give you money improperly and with frequency because they do not care about the rules. This is true at every school in the conference, and only the degrees of insane corruption vary.
Final note: no one will ever try to tip over your bus and set you on fire on the way into an ACC game, and they will never be your home fans, most certainly. We promise this part is true.
Advantage: SEC/South Carolina
A conundrum since one in four college students have an STD, meaning your odds are bad wherever you go. This is a trick question, however, since the city of Columbia, South Carolina is actually made of pure syphilis. Quality may be slightly higher on the SEC side, since you don't get syphilis by being an ugly introvert, but still.
VARIETY OF EVENTUAL LOSS/DISAPPOINTMENT
The same for both teams, since Clemson and South Carolina both botch seasons in a variety of exciting ways. Both have flopped heinously on big national stages (see Tommy Bowden's 2008 opener or the Arkansas game last year for South Carolina.) Both have run out to good records and overblown national rankings before flailing late; both have faceplanted early and recovered. For more consistency overall go with Clemson, but if in your chest beats the heart of a white-knuckled gambler and masochist, South Carolina has the edge on pure pain/payoff per season.
NO DECLARED ADVANTAGE
See "Columbia: made of syphilis and smells like tire fire." Also, no one has ever been carted off the field by human traffickers and sold for parts in the middle of a game, as happened to Blake Mitchell in the middle of the 2006 Georgia game. The locals will not lift a finger to help you, either, because they all get a cut both literally and figuratively. (Also, the question of whether Blake Mitchell was worth saving from bandits is a perfectly legitimate one from a football perspective.) Columbia is full of cannibal kidney salespeople, and we did not just make that up.
As with Auburn, we're not even sure if they have police in Clemson, or what they do if they do exist. They don't need them very often for anything, though, as bobcats with guns strapped to their paws rule the streets and keep a tight general public order. Feed them raw meat, and there will be no trouble.
One is a grown man named Dabo, and the other is Steve Spurrier.
Advantage: SOUTH CAROLINA
NOT EVEN REALLY A CHOICE IS THERE NOPE NO THERE'S NOT BABY I JUST PUT A HAMMER IN THE MICROWAVE LET'S SEE IF IT COMES TO LIFE AND DANCES I HOPE IT DOES HEY SPARKS---
This is a serious matter, and it has to lean towards Columbia, whose sad residents eat their sorrows in a thousand tasty variations. This is more a matter of numbers due to Columbia's larger population and larger restaurant community, and due to the surprising tastiness of human meat smoked for hours over a wood fire and served with mustard sauce. Don't judge the long pig until you've tried it.
Advantage: SOUTH CAROLINA
CHAMPIONSHIP POTENTIAL: A tricky issue given South Carolina's position in the SEC, where they have one the SEC East title once in their history and have never so much as touched the conference championship. In contrast. Clemson has 13 ACC titles, though they haven't got a fresh one since 1991. Clemson has a clear advantage here, as Coach Rodriguez will probably bring one in sometime between 2012 and 2014 if current Coach Swinney continues to leave him this much talent.
CLIMATE: It comes down to one question with these two schools: do you want cursed blood-rain (Columbia), or charming tainted agricultural chemical rain (Clemson)? We opt for the latter, since it doesn't stain clothes.
APPAREL COMPATIBILITY: Garnet and Black is tricky, but it's not purple and orange, two colors we're not even sure really match together, much less in combination with anything else. Orange is the Genghis Khan of colors, fashion-wise: it gets along with nothing, obliterates everything it's placed with, and kills everyone who looks directly at it.
Advantage: SOUTH CAROLINA
That's a marginal break 5-4 to Clemson for Clowney's services. So glad we could make this easy for you, Mr. Clowney.